Catholic priest buying bush meat in southern Tanzania

I read a post by a photographer recently who boasted of eating bush-meat in central Africa. When challenged on this (he’d included it in his biography as being something special) he responded saying what could he do: he was served it by a family in the Congo.

Herein lies the problem.

It is reported that animals in some central African game parks are 60% down due largely to this wretched and unfortunate trade in what is known locally as ‘bush meat.’ 

Game wardens are available to patrol in many reserves, but what of animals outside the area being hunted, killed and sold? If people are hungry and poor and alternative protein is not available, what is the solution?

I’ve seen people on the roads in Ghana, Zambia and Tanzania holding tiny deer, monkeys, pythons and other wildlife for sale. In Gambia I once bought an antelope to save its life. With what result? The men were waiting outside the house next morning with another antelope.

The above photos illustrate my point, but they do not provide an answer except to ask the good fathers in Africa to resist supporting the slaughter of God’s creatures.

Poacher caught with a bag of monkey meat, Zambia

Images source:

About Travels with My Hat

Australian photojournalist and author. Used London as a base for nearly forty years while freelancing in the Middle East, Arabian peninsular, Africa and South Asia. Have written and illustrated more than a dozen books and travel guides. Operates a well regarded religious images stock photo library: Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
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  1. lodgeman says:

    Perhaps the solution would be farms producing the 'bush meat' clearly in demand. We buy game meat from our regular supplier and are assured of its origins and licence.

  2. C.O. says:

    Thanks for yr comment. Interesting possibility. Which `bush meat` is most in demand? And secondly, what `game` do you supply at yr hotel in Livingstone – a lovely spot.

  3. AMA says:

    The idea of farming to encourage the growth of the "bush meat " is good . However the poor souls who need the meat for survival, would never be able to afford to buy from the farmers.

  4. Mimi Forsyth says:

    This is so very sad. I think poaching of "bush meat" is not the problem, but the result of the problem. The solution, providing everyone enough affordable food, is probably unattainable.

  5. Claude says:

    The problem will grow worse with the increasing population. World food shortages are inevitable because of this simple fact — too many children being produced —- who knows that in 2050 the English may be eating badgers.

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